Turkish regulator TAEK has granted Russian-owned JSC Akkuyu Nuklear a construction licence for unit 2 of the nuclear power plant under construction in Mersin province, in southern Turkey.The Akkuyu nuclear power plant construction site (Image: Rosatom)
Kirill Komarov, first deputy director-general for corporate development and international business at Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, told Reuters last week the licence had been issued at the end of August.
Komarov, who spoke to the news agency during the World Nuclear Association Symposium 2019 in London, also said the core catcher for unit 1 would be installed this autumn. A construction licence for unit 1 was issued in April. There are about 1700 construction workers on the site, the majority of them Turkish, he said.
Turkey aims to bring unit 1 online in 2023, the centenary of its foundation as a republic, which Komarov said was a challenge. He told Reuters: "Seven years means we should finalise and commission the plant in 2025. We now have a very ambitious goal, shared with the Turkish government, to try to deliver earlier, in 2023. It is definitely a very challenging task."
Komarov added that Rosatom had built unit 3 of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China within six years of signing the contract - its fastest project to date. The unit was commissioned in September 2017.
TAEK issued a limited permit for the construction of Akkuyu unit 2 at the end of last year, a preliminary document that enabled the start of work to build facilities excluding the reactor installation. The construction of unit 1 started in April 2018 and its basemat was completed in April this year.
The 4800 MWe plant will comprise four VVER1200 reactors and is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs. Rosatom’s first build-own-operate venture, the USD20 billion project is based on an inter-governmental agreement signed between Russia and Turkey in May 2010.